What’s up everyone?! Ryan Larkin aka @Larkin8 here and welcome to the Xfinity Series Setup. This week we will be looking ahead to the Xfinity Series race at Darlington. If you are just finding the DFS Army and are not a VIP member sign up and use code LARKIN to save 20%!! Our DFS Army VIP members get access to the Domination Station and Research Station post qualifying. Also, VIP members get access to our VIP Slack with direct contact to the NASCAR coaches. Come join the best team in NASCAR DFS!
This week the Xfinity Series heads to the historic Darlington Raceway. Darlington has hosted Cup races since 1950 and has hosted the Xfinity Series since its inaugural season in 1982. The racing surface is very abrasive which leads to high tire wear. This makes long run speed significantly important. With long run speed being so vital be sure to utilize the DFS Army Research Station to get all the practice and track history info for each driver. Tires will be of massive importance with teams willing to pit after just a few laps for new tires. The main racing groove is up near the wall which leads to numerous drivers making minimal contact with the wall. This is known as the Darlington stripe which I am sure will be mentioned a time or fifty this weekend. The good news is that the composite bodies the Xfinity currently runs minimizes the damage of this contact. In the past this would lead to cut tires and cars losing the all important downforce on the right rear. The are currently 38 cars on the entry list meaning everyone will make the race.
As always the DFS Army Research Station will be available and the Domination Station will be available AFTER starting lineups are set.
The DFS Army will be bringing you tons of NASCAR coverage this weekend and throughout the rest of the year!! VIP members get elite coverage not just for NASCAR but for every sport. Be sure to check out all the NASCAR Cup Series VIP articles available on a weekly basis!!
Available articles include:
Larkin8’s – Truck Series Driver Breakdown
Larkin8’s – Xfinity Series Driver Breakdown
NillyJay’s – Calming the Chaos: Exceptional slate breakdown
BradyMillerDFS’s – The Sway Bar: Top plays for Drafkings
Larkin8’s – Cup Series Setup: Top Plays for FanDuel
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Date: August 31st
Practice 1: Friday 1:05 pm ET.
Practice 2: Friday 3:05 pm
Qualifying: Saturday 12:35 pm ET.
Race: Saturday 4:00 pm ET.
Laps: 147 Stages: 45/90/147
Defending Champion: Brad Keselowski
AVG. # of Cautions: 5 excluding stage breaks
AVG DNF’s: 9 per race
Dominator / Top Tier
For this race anywhere from 1-3 dominators are possible with the majority of lineups landing on 2. This race is usually won and dominated by drivers starting at the front. In the last 13 races here the race winner started inside the top 3 10 times and the pole sitter has won 7 times. Most of our single dominator races have come from the pole sitter being the only dominator and going on to win. As for the drivers to watch we have to start with Denny Hamlin driving the #18 this week. He will head into the race as the guy to beat. Ryan Blaney will be driving the #12 for Penske and Dale Earnhardt Jr makes his series return in the #8 for JRM. Both guys will likely run towards the front and be threats to win. Bell, Custer and Reddick all will be contenders as usual but with stiffer competition this week will have to be at their best to contend for the win.
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In the mid tier we see things revert back to normal with the return to the normal oval racing and Cup companion event. Drivers like Briscoe, Gragson, Haley and Sieg are going to be top 10 threats. Drivers like Gaulding, Clements and Brown return to their normal top 15 upside. Darlington is a demanding track that rewards patience, smooth driving and quality of equipment. There will be a fairly large separation between the elite cars to the middle tier and then a MASSIVE drop off to the lower tier teams. Due to this we don’t see a lot of drivers score massive place differentials. Drivers usually finish around where they start. It will be key to try and pinpoint which drivers offer the best place differential.
These lower end teams are going to really struggle over the long run. Their upside will be very limited. If we get a few start and park teams and a few wrecks which is certainly possible some drivers like Vinnie Miller who live off place differential can be solid plays when qualifying poorly. Drivers like BJ Mcleod and Landon Cassill who have tons of experience and can take care off their tires are the ones most likely to have high finishing upside. It will be important to see how qualifying shakes out to see which off these drivers below $7,000 can have some viability.
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This will conclude this edition of The Xfinity Series Setup. If you would like to reach out and talk NASCAR Follow me on twitter @Larkin8 or of course Become a VIP member and join me as well as our other DFS Army NASCAR contributors (Brady Miller, Taco, and NillyJay) in the NASCAR coaching channels.